HOW TO: Monitoring CPU and GPU Temperatures In-Game/In-Benchmark with On-Screen Display

Discussion in 'Alienware' started by Mr. Fox, Apr 4, 2012.

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  1. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox Undefiled BGA-Hating Elitist

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    A lot of us really like our Windows gadgets and tray utilities. Our inner geek often drives us to monitor every aspect of system performance, and understandably so on machines as expensive as our Alienware beasts. But, as much as we love those gadgets and tray utilities, they are not very helpful when the temps and clock speeds matter most, because you simply cannot see them. And, it's the times when you cannot see the gadgets and tray utilities that you are most likely to encounter issues. In particular, while running full-screen games and benchmarks.

    After posting screen shots, I often receive private messages asking questions about my in-game/benchmark monitoring tools that are displayed on-screen. I have decided to post the instructions for all that are interested. So, let's get started.

    First off, if you don't already have them, you will need MSI Afterburner [download] and HWiNFO64 [download]. Both are free utilities. Once you have them up and running, you will need to configure them. Afterburner's OSD program, while very good, does not have any CPU monitoring features. This is where HWiNFO64 comes into play.

    Note: I am using HWiNFO64 3.92-1515. I prefer the portable version that uses no Windows installer. A newer version is available. I am using this older version because I know it works without issues. You can give the latest version a go if you wish, but this tutorial is based on the version I am using at the moment. There could be some minor differences.

    Once installed and running, HWiNFO64, MSI Afterburner and Afterburner OSD will have icons in your system tray. To access them, simply double-click the tray icons.

    [​IMG]

    Set up HWiNFO64 to launch with sensors-only, run minimized, and start when Windows starts. Use the settings shown in the screen shot in the spoiler below. (If you do not use all the of the settings exactly as shown, you may have issues with Windows hanging during shutdown or random freezing.

    I am posting the screen shots so you can get all of the settings right and hopefully will not have to deal with those issues.)
    [​IMG]
    Maximize HWiNFO64 using the system tray icon and configure the monitoring tools by clicking on the "Configure" button. Follow the series of screen shots in the spoiler below to set up the CPU clock speed and temperature monitoring for Rivatuner's OSD plug-in (which is part of HWiNFO64 - no need to download Rivatuner).
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    NOTE: Should you ever need to change the initialization configuration of HWiNFO64 to stop it from launching when Windows starts and running minimized, you need to edit the INI file. See the screen shot in the spoiler below for what needs to be changed...
    [​IMG]
    Finally, we need to set up Afterburner OSD. The first step is to enable the GPU monitoring features that are built-in. The second step is to create a custom profile that uses HWiNFO64 CPU monitoring values through its Rivatuner plug-in. Follow the series of screen shots in the spoiler below.
    First Step: Enable Afterburner OSD GPU Monitoring

    Launch Afterburner using the tray icon (the white jet without the pink numbers on it).
    [​IMG]
    Click on the "Settings" button in the lower right corner of Afterburner, and go to the "Monitoring" tab.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Second Step: Create an Afterburner OSD Profile for HWiNFO64

    Launch Afterburner OSD using the tray icon (the white jet that has the pink numbers).

    [​IMG]

    Click the silver plus sign (+) and browse the the HWiNFO64 executable and click the Open button.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    At this point you should be all set. If you follow all the steps correctly, your on-screen monitoring tools will look like the examples below. (The live action screen shot and video were captured using Afterburner.) Be sure to play around with the Afterburner OSD and HWiNFO64 monitoring tools to tweak everything to your personal preference. You can add additional sensor readings to the OSD, change fonts, font sizes and colors, screen placement, etc. In order to get your formatted fonts and colors to stay as you want them, apply the same settings to the HWiNFO64 profile and the global Afterburner OSD profile. (Thanks to steviejones133 for reminding me of this step on the font colors.)

    Being able to actively monitor CPU and GPU load temps and clock speeds on-screen is very valuable for troubleshooting, preventing damage by heat and/or overclocking, or people that just feel a compelling need to know how their system is doing at all times. I hope all that read this find it helpful. Happy gaming and benching, my friends.

    (If you do not see a screen shot and a video below, refresh this web page)
    [​IMG]


    Using Android and iOS Phone to Monitor and Overclock GPU

    As an additional tweak for those that are interested, MSI Afterburner now has an Android and iOS app that allows you to monitor and overclock your GPU using your phone!
    Check it out here:

    The setup instructions are not all that clear. To get this working, I had to find the IP address of my laptop, enter that in the Windows app in the system tray and also enter the laptop IP address in my Android phone in the MSI app on the phone. I also had to manually configure my Windows 7 firewall to allow the communication. Once configured, it's awesome.

    Enter the IP address of your computer in the Afterburner Remote Server app as shown here.
    [​IMG]
    Open the Afterburner app on your phone and enter the IP address of your computer. If necessary, configure your Windows firewall.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Edit: Thanks to johnksss for pointing out that EVGA Precision X will do the same job as MSI Afterburner. +1 Rep to Brother John. :)

    Edit 07/14/2012: see attached JPG for setting up a new version of HWiNFO64.

    Edit 02/23/2014: HWiNFO64 has been updated many times and the UI is slightly different now. Refer to the image album below if the new UI has you confused on setup procedures.

    Edit 03/07/2015: Updated guidance...

    Just download RivaTuner Statistics Server as a standalone and use HWiNFO64 portable version for output. Works better than anything else and give you a lot more options than Afterburner does.

    Rivatuner Statistics Servers v.6.2.0 | guru3d.com

    HWiNFO64 Diagnostic Software Download and follow the simple pictures here for HWiNFO64 Setup Steps

    You configure the output on the RTSS tab, like this...

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  2. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox Undefiled BGA-Hating Elitist

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    Note: at the suggestion of Ryan_23, I moved this thread into the main Alienware forum for greater exposure, as the information may be of interest to a broader group. These instructions may work on any system, but the settings in the first post have been tested on the M18x. If you have any issues with your model, you may have to change some of the HWiNFO64 configuration settings to achieve ideal results.Clarification: props to residualvoltage for clarifying a couple of things for us. Brother RV is knowledgeable about many things, and he is a real wiz at HWiNFO.Optional: If you experience stability problems, try this alternative configuration to use the Dell EC:
    [​IMG]
    For those that are using a custom fan profile: To ensure that custom fan controls remain implemented, add "OpenFanCtrlMin=1" as a new line at the bottom of the HWiNFO64.INI (or HWiNFO32.INI if you are using that version). When launching the minimized app from the tray, it will open with fan control maximized as well. (See examples below. If you are not using a custom fan profile, this is not applicable.)
    [​IMG]With this INI configuration tweak, HWiNFO will maximize from the tray with fan control open and active, as noted in the example below.[​IMG]Should you happen to encounter an issue with DPC latency, see this post for the HWiNFO settings that will correct the DPC latency.
    I also want to thank steviejones133 and johnksss for providing feedback on the guide before I posted it live on the forum.Brother Steve noted difficulty getting his fonts to stay the bright green color. The default is the purple color, which is sometimes hard to read depending on the screen background color. In the initial post I did not mention that you should choose a font color for the HWiNFO profile in Afterburner OSD and apply the same font color to the Global profile for your preferences to take effect. (See example below.)
    [​IMG]
    Edit: 08/29/2012 - Newer HWiNFO64 Configuration Settings
    [​IMG]
     
  3. blink_c

    blink_c Notebook Consultant

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    Awesome! I've had Afterburner for awhile and never knew it had an OSD (shows how little I explore, lol). You can stop running FRAPS since it does framerates as well :)

    Thanks brother Fox! +rep when I can again :( Stop being so helpful!
     
  4. steviejones133

    steviejones133 Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Great work again, Brother Fox....as usual! - like blink_c, I will have to owe ya some NBR luuurve (honestly, there shouldn't be a limit on handing out rep. if you are as helpful a guy as you are!)

    Followed your "recipe" above and all went fine and works without issue - nice and straight-forward, clear, concise and accurate. Couldnt have asked for a better guide to setup this nice little monitoring gadget.

    WELL DONE!
     
  5. PrOmega

    PrOmega Notebook Enthusiast

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    And I was just thinking to myself a couple days ago ~ "Man.. it would be really nice to have a step-by-step thread on how to monitor CPU and GPU temps while in-game/in-benchmark with on-screen display". My 'prayers' have been answered! YIPEE! :D

    *Bookmarked*
     
  6. DR650SE

    DR650SE The Whiskey Barracuda

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    NIce man! It'll be nice to see where I'm CPU bound in benchmarks. Thanks. I"ll have to set this up on my benching drive as well. +1 once I spread the love a bit.
     
  7. Zer0WaitState

    Zer0WaitState Notebook Geek

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    Great Work... Once Again Mr. Fox! I plan on setting this up ASAP.

    Looks like I need to take out an "I.O.U." on some "Rep" as well.. LOL!! :D
    This may come in handy when an Alienware Tech remote connects to your machine to run a benchmark like Unigine Heaven in window-mode. ;)
     
  8. Johnksss

    Johnksss .

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    Great Job!!

    Side note:
    You can also add
    cpu speed on all 4 cores
    cpu fan speed
    cpu watts
    cpu core temps on each core

    [​IMG]
     
  9. skygunner27

    skygunner27 A Genuine Child of Zion

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    Great post Fox!!!!!!
     
  10. cookinwitdiesel

    cookinwitdiesel Retired Bencher

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    I will be looking into this OSD. It is nice for if you don't have a 2nd monitor to leave HWinfo running in while gaming
     
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